As Election Day draws near, additional sites are opening for voters to cast their ballot in the June 9, 2020 General Primary/Presidential Preference Primary.
Polls will open for statewide Saturday voting from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 30 at the North Hall Community Center, East Hall Community Center, Spout Springs Library and Gainesville Exploration Academy, located at 1145 McEver Road in Gainesville. Gainesville Exploration Academy has hosted early voters since May 18 and is a new venue for early voting, which was previously held at the Hall County Government Center, in order to better facilitate social distancing guidelines.
Next week, June 1- June 5, is the third and final week of early voting. Voters can cast their ballots at those same locations as well. Polls are also open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
As a reminder, a number of measures have been put in place in order to protect poll workers and voters throughout the election season.
"Each person in a precinct will be required to maintain six feet of distance between others," said Hall County Elections Director Lori Wurtz.
In addition, hand sanitizer will be available as voters enter and exit the polling place, and poll workers, who will be wearing masks, will be sanitizing machines between each voter. Signage will also encourage voters to remain socially distanced, to cover their mouth when they cough, to wash their hands frequently and wear a mask if they have one.
"We are also reminding voters that voting absentee is a great option in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic," Wurtz said. "Absentee ballot applications are available online and may be returned to us by mail, email, or fax. Voters can mail in their completed ballot or drop them off at the drop box outside the Hall County Government Center on Browns Bridge Road to prevent them from even having to find a parking spot or coming into our building."
The absentee ballot drop box can be found directly across from the government center’s front doors and is accessible from the driver’s side window of your car.
"The Hall County Elections Office will accept absentee ballot applications until 5 p.m. on Friday, June 5; however, voters are encouraged to submit their applications sooner than that in order for the application to be processed and the ballot issued, mailed and then filled out and returned by the voter," said Wurtz.
Absentee ballots must be in the Hall County Elections Office by 7 p.m. on Election Day, June 9, in order to be counted. Ballots should not be left at the polling place on Election Day.
Wurtz said voters who requested an absentee ballot but choose not to submit it and vote in person instead may experience a slight wait as poll workers cancel the voter’s absentee ballot before issuing a new, in-person ballot.
"So far, most voters are casting a ballot in under 10 minutes, and that’s probably a conservative estimate," she said.
More information regarding the election, including information about how to receive an absentee ballot, can be found here.